Friday, 29 October 2010

polka dot tea party

this started as a doodle to fill a piece of sketchbook page I hadn't used, and it ended up as Polka Dot Tea Party. I've had another busy day, and had a mentoring session today in my studio with someone from Creatve Greenhouse, which was very useful. It made me realise that my ideas for what I want to do aren't far-fetched and 'pie-in-the-sky' and that people do really make it in creative industry.... I just have a long way to go and can't expect results overnight!! AS usual I'm being impatient... So the plan it to order some of my designs on teatowels and get them for sale.... and maybe look at other ways to get my designs onto products... ideas please...

Thursday, 28 October 2010


today i'm tryng to get lots of little jobs done first so I can then go and spend a decent chunk of time in the studio this afternoon, it isn't all going to plan though!! Does anyone find it really annoying when you have finally found the time to spend on your creative business and then you find yourself doing paperwork, printing, emailing, getting quotes for work, etc etc et-blinking-cetera and then not really doing what you want to do, ie get the pens out and start drawing... that's me today!

I need to focus!! Right, tea will help me to do that... i'm off to put the kettle on, make a brew and i'm going to my studio!!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Helen Denerley at The Harley Gallery, Notts

This was the other exhibition I saw last week when I visited the Harley Gallery. This one was in the main gallery space downstairs and was a scuplture exhibition by Helen Denerley featuring a wonderful array of animals, large and small. All of the pieces were made from recycled metal, vintage and modern and they were amazing to see. My favourite piece was the rook/crow (top picture), i thought it was full of character and just think it's brilliant how the artist can see the new shapes of her creatures within the metal. This is definitely recycling at it's best!! I thought the sketches on the walls were a great addition to the space, showing how ideas are formed and seeing the final piece in all it's glory. Another exhibition you should go and see... And if you do go for a day out there, there is also a lovely cafe which serves scrummy food, a garden centre, and a farm shop.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

beady inspiration

i took this picture the other day when I went to Louise's studio. It is a photo of one her button boxes, full of colourful beads which she uses in her work and workshops. It struck me that I never really use these kinds of colours so I thought I'd do a little photoshopping and try out a few new colour combos. Some of them are a bit too bright and gawdy for me (i'm more of an autumnal girl at heart) but I particularly like the right and left sections of three. I must find somewhere to use them.... hmm, add to jobs list!!

As for other stuff, I am in the process of finally getting some quotes for getting my bird designs printed onto tea towels. Has anyone done this before? I'm thinking I'm going to get a printing company to do all the hard work, so I can spend my time on new designs, rather than learning how to screen print without ruining all of my blank tea towels!! Hopefully this will be on step closer to getting a range of products rather than just the artwork and prints. Watch this space and I'll hopefully have some to show you soon. And on that note, I'll leave you thinking how many people you would like to buy tea towels for for Xmas!!!

Cleo Mussi - mosaic artist extraordinaire

What can I say... genius, amusing, striking and quirky... Cleo Mussi is exhibiting her 'Pharmas Market' at the Harley Gallery near Worksop in Notts. It has be to seen to be believed, it really is a good one to see. I particularly loved the fox (who had half of a fox-hunting scene in his tail!!). Really worth a visit, I didn't realise that mosaics could be so inspiring!!

Monday, 25 October 2010

inspiring places

Last Friday I had the great pleasure of visiting the Studio of one of my fellow Nottinghamshire Creative 2 colleagues, Louise Presley. Her studio is situated at The Harley Foundation near Worksop in Notts, quite near the Harley Gallery on the Welbeck Estate. I has heard that Louise's studio was amazing but I wasn't quite prepared for what I found when I got there. It's a huge treasure trove of all things vintage, crammed with materials, buttons, books, furniture, sewing machines, and papers. Louise's company Hope and Elvis is run from this amazing studio and she runs regular workshops and group sessions from there. If you live locally you should definitely go and check it out. You can also visit there and go and see Louise in her studio for yourselves at the Harley at the end of November when there will be a Christmas market. I'll be going and I can't wait!!
As well as the studio visit we also got a chance to go and visit the current exhibition at the Harley Gallery, which was really interesting too, fantastically displayed mosaics by Cleo Mussi and recycled metalwork scupltures of animals by Helen Denerley. I'll show you some pics later in the week.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

more new things...

this is another of the canvasses going for sale in the 'Partridge in a Pear Tree' Christmas Exhibition at Rufford. It's one of the new things in my life this week (the other one being a lot bigger and leaving a bit bigger hole in the finances.... a car!!) It's been a long time coming but I've finally taken the leap and bought myself a newer car, so this weekend not a lot of work will be done, just a bit of driving round enjoying the autumn sunshine!!

Let's just keep all fingers crossed that I'll be selling well this Christmas, so I can put some pennies back in the bank.... new MAJOR project in the pipeline for 2011.... needing lots of pennies!! Will tell you more soon when we have finalised a few more details!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

new new new

well hello again... you might be pleased to hear that I actually set foot in my studio today, picked up a pen and did some drawing!! It was only for a couple of hours but I really enjoyed it. Next week I have two whole days in which to repeat this exercise and I can't wait!! Today I was working with some frames which hold the picture within them, you can open and close it like a book, and even put 3D objects in it if you want to. The frames form the basis of a recent application for an exhibition which I applied for as part of a collaborative group (more news on this soon, but it's very exciting....

As for other things, has anyone else noticed how blinking cold it has become? I was freezing today, never quite warmed up, need to get a heater in the studio, or maybe do 20 star-jumps every 30 mins to keep myself warm (as has been suggested by my sister!!) Hmmm, think I'll go in search of thicker socks, jumper and gloves if needs be!! Or just migrate to the house!!

Monday, 18 October 2010

painting birds

hmm, i'm not sure about this one, it's an acrylic painting of 'falling' which i did last week, i'm thinking that perhaps the black and white version of these canvasses are better.

I can't believe how this year is flying by, once again it is getting closer to Christmas and I haven't booked a single Christmas fair. I really do need to get a bit more organised for next year and at least do a couple. I don't know but I'm not sure if the Fair thing is for me, but I do need to get my work in front of a bigger audience. Folksy has gone a bit quiet, but then again I can't expect miracles as it's ages since I have put anything new in my shop.

Roll on Thursday when I will finally get my butt into gear and get my exhibiton stock list together, ready for delivery to Rufford Gallery at the beginning of November and I might even get some new work made, keep your fingers crossed I have no more car nightmares!!!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

grrrrr!!!! and breathe.......

some restful, calming colours to end what has been a really stressful day!! I haven't even set foot in the studio, as I have been arsing around all day trying to sort out a clerical error on my car registration documents (someone elses fault, which is even more annoying, as I (completely unsuspesxting member of the public) has the pain in the ass of trying to sort it out), and as a result my car is now not insured and I can't sell it either!!! ********* *******!!!!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

more inspiring colours

another little composition of colours for you. I can't wait to use this one in a print, purples pinks and greens, all occurring naturally...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

new work

I have been meaning to make a series of my bird illustrations on canvasses for a while now and finally this weekend I got round to finally doing it in preparation for a Christmas Exhibition I'm taking part in. I tried one in paint and one in just ink, and I think the ink one turned out best. This is a variation on 'Falling' and I haven't thought of a name for it yet... any ideas?

As for other stuff, I really need to get focussed and decide how I want to develop the business over the next six months or so. I am swinging between several different ideas at the moment, and just don't know which way to try and take things. The Creative Business course I'm on has helped me make some biggish decisions which I had been mulling over for a while (ie which type of work to concentrate on and also the big rebrand dilemma) so now I feel I need to knuckle down, and try to spend my studio days actually IN the studio and not racing around catching up with life. I think I've said before I do get quite easily distracted by t'internet, emails, dog-walking, cooking and chatting on my days at home. Well, no longer, I'm going to try a be less of a procrastinator and more of a do-er (or whatever the opposite of procrastination is!!)

Saturday, 2 October 2010

rolling hills 2

second in my mini landscape series, again inspired by the Tyne Valley. I hope to get up there soon to grab a bit more Northern inspiration. I'm keeping this short and sweet today as shhh... it's my birthday.... so I'm having the day off!! Only 365 days to the BIG ONE!!!

Friday, 1 October 2010

rolling hills

This one has been in the 'ideas bank' for a while now, and it finally became real yesterday when I started working on a small series of ink landscapes which I will hopefully be showcasing nearer Christmas. It was inspired by the Northumberland holiday we had in Feb this year in the Tyne Valley.. happy memories.